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Descender, Volume 4: Orbital Mechanics: 07/28/20
Descender, Volume 4: Orbital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire ends the brief and tenuous sibling relationship of Tims 21 and 22. After a brief chase through space, Tim 22 returns, carrying the body of 21, pretending to be 22.
This is the volume where everyone questions their relationships. Does Andy want his brother back or is he just out for revenge against another robot? Will Telsa reconcile with her father? Will she even survive?
Like volume 2, Orbital Mechanics is a liminal volume. It's a time of escape, a time of movement, a chase through space.
In terms of the road narrative spectrum, it's retrograde motion. With the familial ties to the Tims severed, the surviving Tim shows his true monstrous identity. He is a minotaur traveler (99) — made a monster by circumstances, now reveling in that status.
Tim's goal is home (66). Home here is the Machine Moon, but it could also be the planet where his ancient prototype was found. It could also be the code base he shares with the other Tims, the original robot, and the Harvesters.
As this is set in space, the route is offroad. It is as the title states, travel via "orbital mechanics" (66).
All together, Volume 6 is about a minotaur traveler heading home via an offroad route (996666).